Thursday 19 October 2017 / 09:57 PM

NBA FREE AGENCY: BIG MOVES FROM LAKERS, GRIZZLIES & BUCKS

Some of the pieces have moved around the NBA and have been locked in for extended contracts. Some of the biggest winners of the 2016 Finals were on the bench, with Cavaliers center Timofey Mozgov and point guard Matthew Dellavedova picking up contracts three times and eight times their original salaries respectively.

The Lakers

Luol Deng:

Deng got swooped away from the Miami Heat by the Los Angeles Lakers in a four-year, $172 million contract. Deng is one of the best combo available, and held the Heat above water after Chris Bosh was ruled out for the season with blood clots. Deng will be able to offer experience to the young and inexperienced Lakers roster. He will be joining Brandon Ingram, the No.2 pick in the 2016 draft.

Timofey Mozgov:

Mozgov’s contract with the Lakers inspired an incredulous reaction. The 7’1 Russian signed a four-year, $64 million dea early last week. His salary jumped from $4.65 million-a-year bench presence, to a $16 million-a-year starter. This goes to show the value of centers on the market. With Howard signing to the Hawks, Joakim Noah signing to the Knicks and Hassan Whiteside re-signing to the Heat, Mozgov makes an excellent addition for the Lakers. Even though he spent less than a quarter playing during the 2016 Finals with Cleveland, Mozgov is still the only one of the four aforementioned centers with a ring to his name. Mozgov’s value is primarily derived from his performance in the 2015 Finals, where he helped win two games, despite missing Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love.

The Grizzlies

Mike Conley:

Conley became the owner of the richest contracts in the NBA after agreeing to a five-year, $153 million deal with the Memphis Grizzlies. He has played for the Grizzlies since he was drafted by them in 2007, and is now looking like he will become a lifer for the franchise. Conley played an integral role in recruiting Chandler Parsons, and after Parsons accepted his contract Conley followed suit and got his deal done as well. Conley is a tenacious competitor, but for someone who hasn’t made an All-Star team in his career, he has a lot to prove for the Grizzlies.

Chandler Parsons:

The 6’9 small forward from the Dallas Mavericks committed to a four-year contract worth $94 million max with Memphis. The Grizzlies have had a tough time convincing great talent to join, but the acquisition of Parsons and Mike Conley are two contracts in the right direction. Parsons’ shooting ability are what Memphis has needed for years. Parsons had multiple competitive offers, so him choosing to play for a small-market team like the Grizzlies is a huge step forward for the club. Parsons has had multiple knee surgeries in the past two years, but other than the risk of injury this is an excellent pick-up.

The Bucks

Matthew Dellavedova:

The Australian back-up point guard for the Cavaliers made away like a bandit with a four-year, $38 million contract with the Milwaukee Bucks. Dellavedova is known for his ferocious defense, but he also shot 41% behind the arc, making him a threat on that front as well. His value comes from his experience of playing in the NBA Finals two years in a row against the Golden State Warriors and Steph Curry, one of the best point guards and scorers in the league. Milwaukee, a relatively obscure and non-factor team in comparison to the Cavaliers, could be a great place for Dellavedova to make some waves; there was very little hope for Dellavedova to make a lasting impression on the bench behind Kyrie Irving. His previous salary was $1.147 million, and is now $9.5 million a year – and for that kind of salary jump I’m sure ‘Delly’ wouldn’t mind turning out for a high school basketball team.

Mirza Teletovic:

The 6’9 Bosnian signed a three-year, $30 million deal with the Bucks and will get a chance to play for Jason Kidd again. Teletovic is one of the better shooting power forwards in the NBA and will help the Bucks create space in the court. This contract is very fair, giving Milwuakee the benefit of a bargain – especially since they just shelled out close to $40 million for Dellavedova.

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About the author

Alex Moskov

Alex has come on board with CBS as our basketball and gridiron expert, providing opinions and analysis from the bright lights of the NBA and NFL.

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